EU fines 3 banks $520 million over rate market rigging European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. European Union regulators on Wednesday fined banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole a combined $520 million for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates. (AP Photo/Thierry Monasse) by Raf Casert, The Associated Press Posted Dec 7, 2016 3:03 am MDT Last Updated Dec 7, 2016 at 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BRUSSELS – European Union regulators on Wednesday fined banks JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Credit Agricole a combined $520 million for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates.EU antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the banks illegally exchanged sensitive information and colluded to make big profits in the market on the specialized financial products.JPMorgan Chase was fined 337 million euros, France’s Credit Agricole 114 million euros and London-based HSBC 33 million euros.Three years ago, the antitrust regulators levied about a billion euros in penalties from Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Societe Generale as part of the same case, which covers manipulation of financial contracts linked to a benchmark interest rate called Euribor in the period 2005-2008. Those banks chose to settle, while Wednesday’s decision sought to punish the three holdouts.“This sends a clear message that banks, like all companies, have to respect EU competition rules,” said Vestager. “Financial markets need to be competitive.”Credit Agricole said it “is convinced it did not commit an infraction against competition law” and said it would appeal. HSBC said it believes it “did not participate in an anti-competitive cartel” and is considering its legal options.Vestager said the financial products, which companies use to manage interest rate uncertainty, were traded globally on money markets worth trillions of dollars. The market’s manipulation reaped huge profits for the banks, she said.“If this market is rigged it will benefit only a few and this is exactly what the seven banks did.”She said they exchanged confidential information about trade and strategy in chatrooms and the like to send rates high or low to meet their needs. “The Euribor rate on a specific date can make a huge difference to the cash flow in a bank.”She said the chatrooms were replete with “vulgar language” as the banking officials developed their own vocabulary to drive the collusion between the seven banks and stem fair competition. “It is a very closed community with a very free language, so to speak,” she said.With Wednesday’s decisions, the Commission has imposed fines of some 2 billion euros in six cases over the past three years in the sector, she said.
Simon Laudat needs a wheel chair or walking frame to get around after jumped out of a first-floor window to escape his wifeCredit:Evening Standard / eyevine She wept as Judge Jane Sullivan warned she could face prison.Prosecutor Gino Connor said:“She was shouting and screaming abuse… she attacked her husband with a pair of scissors. She started to slash at his face, saying, ‘I will cut your eye open.’”But Ms Laudat, who has been freed on bail until sentencing on April 13, claimed her husband had come at her first with the scissors, and said that she had inflicted the wounds during a struggle. Judge Sullivan added: “I have no doubt it was she who produced the scissors and used them. She was angry about his behaviour.” He said his wife, who he had married in 2016, had “put the scissors inside the knuckles and basically punched me.””After she hit me the first time with the scissors I backed away because I was in shock,” he said.Ms Laudat, who is now pregnant, admitted unlawful wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm.She told the court her husband and the woman had an “agreement” for £50 and dinner but said instead it was “a sex meeting.” A children’s fashion designer slashed her husband with scissors after finding naked photographs of his older lover on his mobile phone, a court has heard. Charlotte Laudat, 31, inflicted eight wounds on her husband Simon after finding the images of the woman “in her late seventies”.”I saw various pictures of a lady in her late seventies. I never want to see them again,” she told the court. Ms Laudat, who designed children’s clothes under the brand Little Lott London, slashed him across the face, Blackfriars Crown Court heard, according to the Evening Standard.She also told him: “You are going to die tonight.”Mr Laudat, who confessed to an affair, injured his ankles and was left needing a wheelchair or walking frame to get around after he leapt out of a first-floor window to escape.